Teen Motherhood is still Motherhood

This is a sponsored post written by Angela Starr from addictions.com.

I was 17 when I found out I was pregnant. It was not news I was happy to hear. In all honestly, I didn’t know how to process it. I had known teen mothers at my high school, but I didn’t feel like them. None of my friends were even having sex that I knew of and I had never told anyone I was because I didn’t really want to be. I was scared about the pregnancy, but I was also upset that it gave everyone an entrance into my sex life. That was what worried me, to begin with.

I had left high school before I got pregnant because I wasn’t being taught as much as I wanted to learn. I knew I was going to community college and that I would go on to a four-year school, so what was the point in having a diploma? This meant I was a teen mother and a high school drop-out. I am extremely privileged that both of my parents supported me in having a baby. They weren’t thrilled initially, but it felt like the best decision that could be made.

With the help of my mother, I made it to all my pre-natal appointments. I took birthing classes. I bought a crib. I worked at the beginning of my pregnancy and attended college toward the end of it. My boyfriend had left me a letter stating that he would be back when the baby was a year old and he left. I was doing all of the things I knew how to do as a teenager to be a good mom. I read all the parenting books I could get, and I listened to and followed my parent’s advice.

I gave birth to my son on October 31, 1995. My labor was induced and it was an easy delivery in comparison to the horror stories I would later hear. But, they took my son away and they didn’t bring him back. As I drifted to sleep on a wave of post-delivery painkillers, a doctor woke me up demanding to know if I had done any drugs while pregnant. I hadn’t. I didn’t smoke, drink, or use drugs. They suspected my baby had hepatitis, and they would be keeping him in the nursery and giving him treatment for it as they waited for test results to come in.

I was so committed to breastfeeding that my mother got the hospital to rent us an empty room near the nursery where I slept after I was discharged. The nurses taking care of my son would call me when he needed to eat and I would drag myself over to his little bassinet and nurse him. He was in the hospital for days and I showed up every time he was hungry. It didn’t feel like there was any alternative. I had to be there for him.

My son is an adult now and I am so proud of him, but I am also proud of me. I single handedly raised my child and I earned my BA and my MA. I may have been young when I got pregnant, but I did better than a lot of women much older than I was. I wouldn’t let anything stop me.

 

 Angela Starr graduated from Washington State University with an MA in English and went on to teach college writing and to work in college writing centers. Now, she puts what she used to teach into action as a writer. She shares an apartment with her son and 3 adorable, yet annoying, cats. Basically her writing focuses on addictions, abusive behavior and other trending topics in the community.